What does toenail fungus look like: symptoms, types and stages

Toenail fungus is an infectious disease. This pathology occurs in children and adults and goes through two stages in its formation. As a rule, people apply when they have a neglected form, which complicates the treatment process. There are several types of fungi, each of which differs in additional symptoms: the main manifestations of the disease, regardless of the form, are the same. When the first signs of fungus appear, you need to contact a dermatologist. To prevent the development of an ailment, it is necessary to undergo regular examinations and observe personal hygiene measures.

Toenail fungus: a description of the disease

Toenail fungus(onychomycosis) It is an infectious disease and is caused by a variety of fungal organisms.The fungus affects about 20% of the world population.

Onychomycosis accounts for 15-40% of all nail diseases and is found in 3% of the adult population, most often males and children suffer from tight shoes. Women rarely encounter this ailment, because they take better care of their feet.

The fungus occurs against the background of the following factors:

  • trauma;
  • constant contact with chemicals;
  • wearing tight shoes;
  • obesity;
  • increased sweating;
  • flat feet;
  • non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • malfunctions of immunity;
  • taking antibiotics and other medicines;
  • endocrine diseases, pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract and HIV infection;
  • vascular disease;
  • sporting activities (running, swimming, tennis and gymnastics);
  • life and work in large industrial cities (miners, etc. ).

Infection occurs during cosmetic procedures in beauty salons with non-compliance with hygiene standards. If a person uses common household items, visits public places in the form of saunas, baths and swimming pools, this also contributes to the appearance of mushrooms. You should be careful when touching wooden objects, as wood has a porous structure and it is almost impossible to remove the infection. Nail fungus looks like this:

manifestation of fungus on the nails

Main manifestations and types

Symptoms of the fungus depend on the type of pathogen and the extent of damage to the nail plate. The age of the patient affects the speed of recovery. In children, the nails are affected much less often than in adults. Manifestations depend on the type of pathology:

Forms of mushrooms Signs
Normotrophic There is a change in the color of the nail with the same thickness and shine. First, yellow or white spots and streaks appear on the lateral surface of the nail plate. If left untreated, they begin to grow, and the nail plate gradually changes color. In patients, onycholysis can be noted: the inability of the plate to grow to the spoon of the nail
Hypertrophic The color of the nail changes to dark yellow or gray, the plaque thickens by 2 mm or more. This is due to the intense growth of the skin flakes under the nail. Patients complain of loss of luster. The nail begins to crumble and deform. In patients they take on a shape similar to bird claws (onychogryphosis), which cause pain when walking. The side parts lend themselves to maximum destruction
Atrophic The nail plate turns gray, the luster is lost. As the disease progresses, the plaque collapses. Often, the nail bed can be exposed and thus skin scales can be seen above its surface. Atrophy occurs slowly starting from the outer end in the direction of the growth zone and the crease of the nail
Lateral and distal These two forms occur together and quite often. You may notice a change in nail color in blue-green or black and yellow grooves. It gradually begins to crumble, becomes rough and the edge is uneven. As the disease progresses, the plaque begins to deform. Sometimes the appearance of swelling and redness of the rollers is possible. If the patient has a bacterial infection, pus is released from under him when pressed
Proximal The skin fold is affected. This form of the disease occurs when the cuticle is removed. The nail begins to turn white in the growth area
Total The nail begins to crumble, break and collapse
white White spots appear that resemble dust

With toenail fungus, there are many of the same symptoms:

  • itchy skin around the nail;
  • layering;
  • crumbling and discoloration;
  • pain in the affected area.


This disease progresses slowly, going through several stages of development:

  1. Initial (initial) stage.
  2. Launched.

In the first stage, the skin of the feet is affected. Itching, cracks and blisters appear between the toes. In the future, the fungus penetrates deep into the nail and affects it. The disease can be detected only in laboratory conditions after scraping.

At an advanced stage, there is a global lesion of the nail plate. If at this stage you do not start treating the fungus, not only the nail, but also the skin may be destroyed. The main symptoms of the late stage are:

  • crumbling nails;
  • layering;
  • deformation.


In the treatment of the fungus, drugs are used topically.These can be solutions with antifungal substances or paints. The patches can be used to exfoliate the affected nail.

If a patient has a nail injury, these funds are sufficient. If two or more nails are damaged, it is necessary to carry out systemic and complex treatment. The paint must be applied constantly, and the duration of therapy is up to 12 months.

Antifungal paints should not be used by children with hypersensitivity to one of the components of the drug, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Before using it, it is necessary to remove the damaged nail, degrease its surface with a solution of water and alcohol, then distribute the varnish. To make the nail more aesthetically pleasing, women can cover this nail with cosmetic varnish on top.

Before using any antifungal agent, you need to steam your feet in water with soda and liquid soap. Then they need to be removed with a towel and an ointment is applied to the affected plate and an adhesive plaster is applied on top to fix it.

Doctors prescribe drugs in the form of tablets at an advanced stage of the pathology.

This type of physiotherapy therapy can improve plate nutrition and increase blood circulation. As a result, the applied preparation better penetrates deep into the nail. To make sure of the effectiveness of the course of treatment, it is necessary to pass the tests on the 14th and 30th day after therapy.